how I spent my Saturday morning

Want to guess what I was doing this past Saturday morning? I was going door-to-door for Barack Obama, making sure people had information about early voting and that they know exactly where their polling location is if they choose to vote on Election Day. (In case you didn’t know: for early voting, you can go anyplace within your county. The place where I voted was in a shopping mall next to a LensCrafters. On Election Day, though, you can only go to your district’s assigned voting location.)

I was planning to volunteer on Election Day, but the local Obama campaign office called me and asked if I could help over the weekend, and well heck, why not? It’s only for three hours, it’s not like it’s some huge imposition, and I do believe in the cause. It was fun. It was nice to chat with the other volunteers about the election, and most people that we talked to were very nice. A good portion of them had already voted, which was encouraging. We had a few people on our list who had moved, and the new residents were McCain supporters, which was awkward. But we just gave them the, “ok, sorry to bother you, have a nice day!” And it was fine. Nobody was overly rude, so overall I’d say the venture was a success.

Also, since it’s so close to the election, the local campaign office was giving volunteers all sorts of Obama gear for free. Which is how I scored a yard sign. Check it out.

my front yard

It’s really bizarre to me how split our neighborhood is – on our street, there are an equal number of McCain and Obama yard signs. But what’s even weirder is how all of the kids are involved with it too. Yesterday, little Ryan gave me crap about my Obama yard sign, and I was like, dude, you’re 5 years old! How do you even know who the candidates are? His mom said she’s worried about him (and his older sister, Cate’s BFF McKenzie) because if Obama wins, she’s concerned that both of her kids are going to be totally depressed. WTF? Doesn’t that seem strange? I mean, I do remember getting picked on when I was in 2nd grade because my parents were voting for Walter Mondale, but I don’t remember caring that much about it.

There are also at least three other kids who live in our neighborhood who hang out with us almost every day when Cate and I are playing in the yard. Their parents are McCain supporters, so they keep asking me about Obama because they seem to want to understand the other side of things. So like, one of the kids came over and asked me what it meant that “Obama wants to spread the wealth around.” And you know, I don’t mind discussing politics with anyone; after all, even when people disagree with me, I can usually keep it respectful and polite, even if some of their views make me want to roll my eyes back in my head until I can see my own brain. But I keep hitting a road block with these kids: how do you explain politics to an 8 or 10 year-old? I can’t figure out a way to break down things like tax policy and “trickle-down economics” on a level where they can understand it. And then when they ask me what I think of Sarah Palin, I can tell them what I think about her lack of experience and the fact that she seems pretty uninformed about the world, but I can’t get into the abortion issue, or that she made rape victims pay for their own rape kits in Wasilla. I’m also trying to be very careful of how I phrase things because I don’t want their parents to get mad at me for putting my liberal beliefs in their kids’ heads. So it’s just strange. I’m anxious for Wednesday to get here just like everyone else, but one of my reasons is that I’m hoping that the daily barrage of questions will let up.

Speaking of waiting for Wednesday: I mentioned this on a post at Mandajuice today, but whatever happens with this election, I hope that whoever wins will work across the aisle toward the best interests of the entire country, not one small subset of the population. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican (back when the parties had totally different ideologies), and he filled his Cabinet with a mix of both parties, because he wanted the smartest men available to work with him, regardless of their party affiliation. He wanted them to argue with him and give him the counter-point to every issue. George W. Bush has surrounded himself exclusively with other Republicans, so there’s no diversity of thought in this administration at all. I hope that regardless of whoever wins – even if it isn’t the guy I like – our next President will prove to be more like Lincoln, because that’s what we really need right now.

13 thoughts on “how I spent my Saturday morning

  1. How can you explain to an 8 yr old, when you yourself don’t understand Nobama’s policies? I’m just curious, have you ever seen a partial birth abortion? Do you know what’s involved? I hope for your sake, you don’t. Becasue otherwise you would be a liberal monster. Walter Mondale? Now that’s just funny. Jimmy Carter, another success story.

  2. “No Comment,” we discussed my position on the abortion issue a couple of weeks ago if you want to go dig through my archives. And it’s funny that out of that entire blog entry, that very brief, passing mention of abortion was the one thing that you latched onto. But since you apparently want to rehash it: yes, I have seen the pictures of mangled fetuses that the pro-life protesters hold up while they’re picketing. And yes, it’s awful. But late-term abortion makes up less than 1% of all abortions, and they’re almost exclusively done in the instance where the mother, the baby, or both won’t survive the pregnancy. There are some women out there who have unbelievably sad stories of desperately wanted pregnancies where they had to have an abortion in order to save their own lives. My heart breaks for those women.

    Btw, the correct terminology is late-term abortion. “Partial-birth” is a moniker that was invented by the pro-life movement to incite an emotional reaction, but it’s not a recognized medical term.

    Barack Obama said himself during the third debate that abortion needs to be “safe, legal, and rare.” Why are you pro-lifers so afraid of him? Do you think he’s going to mandate late-term abortions for all women of child-bearing age? Do you think like Sarah Palin, that a 14 year-old who’s raped by her father should have to carry the baby to term? Do you think that overturning Roe v. Wade would actually stop women from having abortions (like the ban on illegal drugs that’s obviously worked so well)? Would you prefer that we have more young women dying from unsafe, illegal abortions like we had in the 1950’s and 60’s?

    For what it’s worth, abortion is not the issue at the top of my list when choosing a candidate. I think that things like the economy, the war in Iraq, global warming, healthcare, and equal rights for ALL (women, all races, the gay community, etc.) tend to be where I put my primary focus. If you seriously think that the mere existence of Roe v. Wade is the worst thing facing America right now… well, I suppose that’s your right, but I disagree completely.

    Finally: how dare you come on my website anonymously and accuse me of “not understanding” Obama’s policies? Do you think that everyone who doesn’t agree with you is simply misinformed? How arrogant of you. I don’t assume that all Republicans are unenlightened to my way of thinking, I just understand that they have a different way of looking at issues than I do. I’m respectful of other people’s opinions, and I would never dare to call someone a “monster” for disagreeing with me. Do you think you’re going to win me over to your side by calling me names or mocking my beliefs? Think again.

  3. I thought Cindy’s post raised some good points , was well written, and showed respect for others opinions on certain sensitive issues.

    What a shame that you weren’t able to extend the same courtesy in your response.

  4. To “No Comment,” aka jojo (what, you think I can’t check an IP address?): I am fine with people expressing opposing viewpoints on my site, as long as it’s done in a relatively polite and respectful manner. If you want to have a thoughtful, reasonable debate on any given topic? Awesome. But hateful, vitriolic speech like what you used in that last comment will be deleted. This is MY website, if you want to name-call and talk trash like that, get your own site. And have the balls to use your real name.

  5. You are SMART … S-M-R-T!!! I don’t have time for my own site, I actually work for a living!!

  6. Jojo, stop reading this site, since it makes you so mad, take your anger, and channel it into something positive to help your community rather than attacking people over the Internet. I am truly sorry for you that you have such anger you decide to channel it into posting hateful comments on the Internet.

    Cindy, thanks for a good post. I’m glad that you’re taking time out to support causes you believe in.

  7. Jojo, I guess I should feel special that you somehow miraculously found the time to leave three separate nasty comments on my site in a single evening. Clearly your schedule is jam-packed.

    But I suppose that if you were to leave and, like Cara said, channel your energy into something positive, then who would be my (and presumably many other people’s) blog troll? I see your dilemma there.

  8. But! But! Nobama is going to take my guns away force me to gay-marry aborted fetuses!

  9. And Obama’s really a gay muslim terrorist whose spiritual leader is Rev Wright. And did you know that (whispering) *he’s black?*

  10. well while u guys are obviosly having loads of spare time to write on blog pages some of us are busy working for a living supporting ur lazy asses.

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